The Instigator
kcougar52
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

The United States Federal Government ought to ban tenure from all high schools.

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Ragnar_Rahl
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,441 times Debate No: 8557
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

kcougar52

Pro

To My Future Opponent: Thank you for accepting my challenge. I started this debate to learn the pros and cons of this subject, and I chose the side that is my personal opinion (for now). Please feel free to any styles of debating. However I find it a more constructive debate if you hit each of my points as well as making your own. Hobey ho, lets go!

In public high schools, tenure is considered a right for teachers who have passed their (usually) 3 year probationary term. Roughly 2.3 million public school teachers in the U.S. have tenure. (Time) Tenure is job security aimed at impeding wanton firing of "unpopular" teachers. Although noble in theory, tenure is simply wrong.
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Point 1) If a teacher deserves to be fired, it is a daunting task for the school district to do so, leading to bad teachers staying in the system.
According to a recent article in Time Magazine, "Though tenure doesn't guarantee lifetime employment, it does make firing teachers a difficult and costly process, one that involves the union, the school board, the principal, the judicial system and thousands of dollars in legal fees. In most states, a tenured teacher can't be dismissed until charges are filed and months of evaluations, hearings and appeals have occurred. Meanwhile, school districts must shell out thousands of dollars for paid leave and substitute instructors. The system is deliberately slow and cumbersome, in order to dissuade school boards and parents from ousting a teacher for personal or political motives." As I mentioned before, a noble attempt at stopping corruption, yet it fails to recognize bad teachers in general.
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Point 2) There are numerous cases of teachers that deserved to be fired, proved difficult because of tenure.
Yet again, from Time, "A Connecticut teacher received a mere 30-day suspension for helping students cheat on a standardized test; one California school board spent $8,000 to fire an instructor who preferred using R-rated movies instead of books; a Florida teacher remained in the classroom for a year despite incidents in which she threw books at her students and demanded they referred to her as ‘Ms. God.'"
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Point 3) Tenure can easily lead to teacher complacency.
This point is simply logic. If a man or woman has a job they know they won't be fired from (within loose limits), are they really going to work extremely hard to better themselves at their job? In today's world, probably not. The same goes with teachers. Please note, I'm not saying all teachers are lazy scumbags who deserve to be fired, but this is simply a problem with tenure. I'm 100% sure that we've all had a teacher who just didn't care anymore. Mine was in a science class. She never taught a thing. All we did was handouts. Easiest ‘A' I've gotten in my life, but that's not the point of school. Tenure allows for ‘Blow off classes' and ‘easy a's', but is that necessarily a good thing, especially with legislation requiring standardized tests. If students are doing poorly, school districts get less grants, making it even harder to educate new students. It's a slippery slope that many schools are finding themselves in. You may be saying that tenure isn't the only cause of this, but it is a factor. Bad teachers = bad students. Simple.
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Possible Solution: Get rid of the tenure system and create a new teacher grading system in which good teachers are kept and bad teachers are fired.
I've been thinking about the education system a lot recently, and the only possible alternative I could find in my mind, is a merit based system. It would keep crass politics out of the system by assuring teachers their job (if they are up to it). I propose a three part test.
A) Course Knowledge Exam- The teacher ought to know what they are talking about.
B) Teacher Improvement Standards- There are numerous workshops and the like that are available to teachers. They should be required to attend a certain amount of such meetings yearly to keep up with the times and teaching styles.
C) In Class Examination- Although teachers are often subjected to scheduled "watching" periods in which an official of the school sits in on a lesson, this is not enough. They should have a set number of random sit ins to insure the teacher is actually teaching, instead of simply making a show on that one scheduled day.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

Though on the surface tenure is problematic, I have to object to the resolution's requirement of the USFG banning it from ALL high schools. After all, not all high schools are public high schools.The government, federal or otherwise, does not have the right to invade contracts between private schools and teachers merely because it disagrees with the prudence of those contracts.

Incidentally, though this is not central to my argument, the US FEDERAL Government has a specific meaning. We have a federal system, in which constitutionally all powers not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or "the people" . I find it doubtful that my conservative American opponent will really feel comfortable so blatantly violating the constitution (since Education is not among those powers granted the federal government, which is why at present the Department of Education is limited largely to "collaborating with the states," helping them out, granting them, rather than bans) for the purpose of education reform, and also doubtful that an amendment on the matter is likely to happen, and that there aren't better things to do with the effort that such an amendment would take.
Debate Round No. 1
kcougar52

Pro

Thank you for accepting this challenge.

First defense: Private vs. Public
While the topic says ALL high schools, I did mean public schools (hence my first round not saying anything about private schools.) This was my fault. I should have been more specific. I didn't do that to be abusive and attempt to present a moving target. I hope this will no longer be an issue in the final round of the debate.
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Second defense: USFG
Although my opponent makes a very good point, the USFG does have federal laws passed that have to do with public education. Examples are Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act which established confidentiality for student records as well as allowing a request of modification. Another: Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 which dealt with discrimination based on gender. Although the government shouldn't butt in in businesses and the like, it is my strong belief that the federal government should be devoted to the well being of its citizens. And it has been conceded (silence is compliance) that tenure affects the well being of students. Therefore, the federal government (1) has this power; and (2) should use this power.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

First: Regardless of intent, the resolution remains what it is, and must be defended as it stands, like any other resolution.

Second: FERPA is a restriction on the state's gathering of information about individual students, in a manner that calls to mind the "Search and Seizure" clause. Title 9 contains the same essential principle as the 14th amendment, applied to a slightly different trait. Civil rights laws, which is what these both are in essence, are a very different field than state labor policy that has nothing to do with discrimination. The precedent set by those two laws does not cover the domain of such policies, as it would extend a very narrow exception in keeping with a reasonable interpretation of the Constitution into something so broad (The undefined and undefinable "general well being," as though wellness were generalizable as to render effectively no weight whatsoever to the Constitution's limits on federal power.
Debate Round No. 2
kcougar52

Pro

kcougar52 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by kcougar52 7 years ago
kcougar52
I forgot the link to the time article. Here it is! http://www.time.com...
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Vote Placed by thejudgeisgod 7 years ago
thejudgeisgod
kcougar52Ragnar_RahlTied
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Vote Placed by trivea 7 years ago
trivea
kcougar52Ragnar_RahlTied
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